More cities in Poland: Gdansk and Sopot

Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia are known in Poland as the Tricity. Soletraveller has visited two of the three cities by the Baltic Sea.

It was just a short trip with my colleagues this time, but the little I was able to see just made me want to come back for more. We settled ourselves in Gdansk, at the hotel Mercure Gdansk Stare Miasto, overlooking the Old Town roofs, dominated by St. Mary’s Church.

Making plans …

I read somewhere that the city is called ‘Poland’s Amsterdam’ and I agree. The buildings and canals are definitely reminiscent of a Dutch city, in miniature. Gdansk was an important sea port and part of the Hanseatic League. Once it was also Poland’s most prosperous city.
Unfortunately, the town was badly damaged by bombing during World War 2, especially the old town which was destroyed. By the Golden Gate at the Western end of Dlugi Targ, the old city’s main street, two big pictures depict what it looked like after the German bombing. It could bring a tear to your eye, but then you see how well they have rebuilt this area. Really impressive.

I wasn’t the only one among my colleagues to get a deja vu from Piazza Navona in Roma as we walked out onto Dlugi Targ.

During all my visits to Poland I have had sunny and warm weather. It felt especially welcoming now after a long winter. The sun did its job, my freckles were popping out and a feeling of well-being was in place. After our work was done, we relaxed at the Mito Sushi Restaurant, where we had the best sushi I’ve ever tasted. A place to recommend, for sure.

Many people come to this area for a variety treatments. Spa, dentist, plastic surgery and so on. My female colleagues and I had to give it a go. We had all booked various massages at Jacques André, but I’m not sure how various the treatments really were. The men who gave the massage were good, but also had a firm hand. What was supposed to be a relaxing aroma massage was more like a classical massage to some of us.

We found a market full of vegetables, fruits and plants. One of my colleagues is really into succulent plants at the moment, and bought a few to take back home for the fraction of the price back in Norway.

Gdansk loves Angry Birds!

Just beyond the hotel is a shopping center, but central Gdansk itself really isn’t a big shopping place, unless you have amber jewelry in mind. Old Town is full of opportunities to shop the yellow treasure.
When we drove to Sopot the next day however, we passed several shopping opportunities, among others Galeria Baltycka shopping center. We didn’t stop. Instead, we had the taxi stop at Hotel Sheraton in Sopot, from where we walked to the end of Europe’s longest wooden pier, for lunch at the Meridien.

In relation to Gdansk, Sopot emerged as a more exclusive big brother by the sea. It was a little more expensive and polished here, still charming and wonderful though and still with comfortable prices for a Norwegian.

Woooooyyyy! Sopot’s funniest building.

For our trip to Sopot we had the most wonderful taxi driver. First he pointed his finger at us for actually paying him so much to be driven to Sopot, when we could take the train (but hey, the boss was paying).
On the way he pointed out places with interesting history or places just to know. Eventually we ended up talking about the Eurovision Song Contest, as it was only a few days away. During the trip he called up his son and asked him to look up Poland and Norway’s contribution on YouTube, so he could play them for us, with his mobile phone on loud speaker mode. We sang along, while I felt his flirting elbow in my side. Harmless and funny.

We enjoyed ourselves on this trip with food and drinks, strolling around the streets. Had I been alone, with Mum or with Joe I would definitely have done more exploring of these cities. But hey, one needs an excuse to go back.

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